The Weridan-gil Street: The New Hot Place of Jeonju
Jeonju is most renowned for the Hanok Village. However, the hottest place among the locals these days is the district called Weridan-gil or the ‘wedding street’. Similar to Kyungridan-gil street in Seoul, Jeonju’s Weridan-gil has been slowly filled with new shops and restaurants that are run by creative young local entrepreneurs. As the streets of the nearby old town (Gaekridan-gil) became too popular and the price of rents rose, the nearby ‘wedding street’ district became an attractive alternative to the entrepreneurs to start new businesses. Also, the locals looking for discovering their own niche began to frequent the district.
The ‘Wedding Street’
Weridan-gil is a relatively short street in the oldest part of the town. However, the district seems to be expanding, along with the springing new shops. As its name indicates, Weridan-gil was originally known as the ‘wedding street’ with many wedding shops. The local couples preparing a wedding ceremony still visit this street to order dress and suits, wedding hanbok, make-up, wedding photos, wedding gifts, invitation letters, and other things for the ceremony.
Weridan-gil between Jeonju Gaeksa and Jeolla Gamyoung
On the left of Weridan-gil is the site of Jeolla Gamyoung (currently under restoration), the provincial office of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). On the right of Weridan-gil is Jeonju Gaeksa, where the envoys from Seoul or overseas used to stay during their visit. Jeonju Gaeksa was operational since the Goryo Dynasty (918-1392). The city of Jeonju is currently restoring Jeolla Gamyoung and its old stone walls. Also, the Hanok Village and Nambu Market, famous for the night market open on weekend evenings, are very close to Weridan-gil.
Weridan-gil is also famous for restaurants. The locals recommend Gom-chobab (sushi), Sangsang Café, Tofu Kitchen (modern Japanese), Golmuk (bistro), Daga Yeono (salmon), and many more!
What I personally liked about Weridan-gil is the harmony of the old and new stores. Also, Weridan-gil is a one-way street, so it’s very convenient to walk.
‘China Street’ at the end of the Wedding Street
At the end of the ‘wedding street’ is the ‘China street’. This part of the street has handicraft shops, leathercraft shops, cafés, pet shops, small galleries, and bars. But, since it’s called ‘China street’, this district is home to the oldest Chinese restaurants in Jeonju, such as “Jinmi”. I recommend trying “mulzzajang” (noodle in starchy broth with seafood and vegetables), only served by the Chinese restaurants in Jeonju.
The Weridan-gil street is linking the popular districts of Gaekridan-gil (old downtown) and Jeonju Hanok Village. More local artists and entrepreneurs are opening their studios and stores in Weridan-gil. When the restoration of Jeolla Gamyoung buildings are complete in a few years, I expect that this part of the city will become the cultural center of Jeonju.